"What you need to know about Project Ara"
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What you need to know about Project Ara
Google has been working on a smart phone that clips together from replaceable modular parts.
Here's what you need to know about project Project Ara.
With Ara you build a phone out of modules.
Those modules could be a camera, a processor or a battery, or even more niche hardware like medical diagnostic tools that you would never find in a mainstream mobile.
These modules are swapped in and out of a basic endoskeleton, which contains circuitry to link all those modules together.
Google is pioneering Ara, but the modules themselves could be made by just about anyone.
Google says it will eventually let you buy modules to add to your phone from its own store, a bit like an app store for bits of hardware.
Because those modules are replaceable, you could in theory swap out your phone's processor for a new one if it slows down, replace a broken screen or buy a better camera unit.
And in fact, not having to buy a whole new device next time your phone goes wrong could have another advantage.
In the past, Google's mentioned selling its modular phone for just $50.
But even if that doesn't happen, Ara could give you much more choice over how much you spend.
For instance, buying a basic phone to start with, then [UNKNOWN] out on fancy modules over time.
As recently as last summer, project Ara was still quite shaky.
But Google says its modular phone will actually be going on sale in Puerto Rico later this year.
Using the data it gathers to plot a global launch.
With smartphone evolution having slowed over the last few years, Project Ara has the potential to really shake things up again.
We should know more soon, so stay tuned.